Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Erev Rosh Hashanah - The Sewer, the Nectarines, and the Drama

Well, it's been quite a while since I've written anything - my many fans have asked me what happened, and both of you (Hi, Gila!  Hi, Leezy!) deserve a response.

I guess between the war, the heat, and life I just did not feel very amusing for the past few weeks.  Amusing-ness is slowly returning, although hearing yesterday that there was a terrorist action planned in Gush Etzion for Rosh Hashana did not do much to lighten my mood.

But here are some interesting anecdotes for your pre-Rosh Hashanah reading:

1. The sewer cover
A few weeks ago I noticed a clunk-clunk sound outside my window.  I figured something had fallen in the street and cars were driving over it.  Then I realized that it was a loose sewer cover.  For some reason (nerves on edge anyway after this summer) it really bothered me.  I mean, I got to figure out what KIND of vehicle was driving over the sewer cover by the length of time between clunk 1 and clunk 2 (long delay - truck, tiny delay - motorcycle).  My son in law Donny then asked his Israeli friends which terms to use to complain about this.  And guess what?  I called the city office and complained - in Hebrew! Yesterday!  And guess what?  It got fixed!  Yesterday!  Moshiach is coming!

2. The treif nectarines
Yesterday I took my grandson Yaakov to the toy store.  He had some of his own money and wanted to spend it on something for himself.  Of course, since Bubby took him Bubby purchased the toy, as well as toys for everyone else, and told Yaakov to keep his shekel for another time.  This resulted in a huge smile and big hug and kiss.  Totally worth it.

Anywayyyyy, after the toy store I noticed a grocery store right there, and since I needed the requisite "last few things" before chag.  I went in.  Lo and behold they had nectarines - I loooooove nectarines but we are at the end of the season here and my local store didn't have many this week.  I was so happy and bought a bunch of them.  Came home and told Gila, who proceeded to laugh at me.  "Ha, ha, that's the TREIF store!"  Yes, folks, I managed to buy fruit at the one store in Modiin that is truly treif - meaning their fruits and vegetables do not have trumot and maaserot taken from them, and they actually sell pork.  Of course, I had eaten one of the nectarines before I called her. Oops.

This resulted in my immediately dumping the nectarines into the trash as if they were poison.  Funny how these things affect you two days before Rosh Hashana. Then,. many inquiries later, I was told that I did not need to do this (thank you Gila, thank you Kate) and retrieved the fruit from the trash (yes, I washed them) and then performed a lengthy ceremony in which I did the terumot and maaserot taking myself, and let me tell you it was interesting. It involved a cloth, 1/4 of a nectarine, and money.  And a trash can.  Don't ask.

3. Building drama
OOOH, this one is good. In Modiin there are extremely strict laws about adding to one's home - I mean they actually come around and check to make sure you have not changed anything which might result in the city squeezing 100 more shekel out of you for your property tax.

Well, it is a lengthy process to get approval to do anything but one of our building-mates came around asking all of us to sign our OK on his plan to cover his mirpeset with a pergola.  "Sure," we thought, "why not?"  Well, suffice it to say that had we seen a drawing of the monstrosity that he was going to erect, none of us would have agreed.  This new structure has caused untold grief and anguish among the other apartment owners.  It is amusing to watch Israelis argue.  

4. Shmittah
Oh, and shmittah starts tomorrow, so watch for some interesting "Oy! I forgot to save the peels!" anecdotes as the year progresses.  I have read all of the literature and I still have no idea what to do.

So with that, I wish all (both) of you a year of health, fulfillment, unending joy, and kosher nectarines.